acitretin

Pronunciation: A si TRE tin

Brand: Soriatane

Soriatane 10 mg

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Soriatane 25 mg

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What is the most important information I should know about acitretin?

Multum nopreg

Acitretin can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not use acitretin if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant within 3 years after you stop taking acitretin. Before and during treatment, and for 3 years after treatment, you must have negative pregnancy tests at regular intervals to make sure you are not pregnant.

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Do not donate blood while taking acitretin and for at least 3 years after you stop taking it. Donated blood may be given to a pregnant woman and could cause birth defects if the blood contains acitretin.

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Women taking acitretin must not drink alcohol during treatment and for at least 2 months after treatment ends. Alcohol can cause acitretin to convert to another substance in your body that can take 3 years or longer to clear from your body. Read the labels of all foods and medicines you consume to make sure they do not contain alcohol.

Acitretin is available only under an agreement that you will use birth control and undergo required pregnancy testing, and that you will not consume alcohol while you are taking acitretin and for 2 months after you stop taking it.

What is acitretin?

Acitretin is a retinoid, which is a form of vitamin A.

Acitretin is used to treat severe psoriasis in adults. Acitretin is not a cure for psoriasis, and you may relapse after you stop taking this medication.

Acitretin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking acitretin?

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You should not take this medication if you are allergic to acitretin or similar medications (such as Accutane, Altinac, Avita, Renova, Retin-A, and others), or if you have:

  • severe liver or kidney disease;
  • high levels of triglycerides (a type of fat) in your blood;
  • if you are pregnant or breast-feeding;
  • if you are also using methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall); or
  • if you are also using a tetracycline antibiotic, including demeclocycline (Declomycin), doxycycline (Adoxa, Doryx, Oracea, Vibramycin), minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn, Vectrin), tetracycline (Brodspec, Panmycin, Sumycin, Tetracap), and others.

Acitretin is available only under an agreement that you will use birth control and undergo required pregnancy testing, and that you will not consume alcohol while you are taking acitretin and for 2 months after you stop taking it.

To make sure you can safely take acitretin, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • kidney or liver disease;
  • heart disease;
  • high cholesterol;
  • diabetes (you may need to check your blood sugar more often);
  • depression;
  • if you receive phototherapy;
  • if you drink large amounts of alcohol; or
  • if you have ever taken etretinate (Tegison or Tigason).
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Acitretin can cause birth defects. Do not use if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant within 3 years after you stop taking acitretin. You must use 2 effective forms of birth control starting at least 1 month before treatment with acitretin, and for at least 3 years after you stop taking this medication. Use both forms of birth control together every time you have sex.

The first birth control method should include one of the following forms: birth control pills (but not the "mini-pill"), an intrauterine device (IUD), birth control shots, inserts, skin patches, or implants, a tubal ligation, or your male partner's vasectomy.

The second birth control method should include one of the following forms: a latex condom, or a diaphragm or cervical cap used together with a spermicide cream or gel.

For women taking acitretin: Before using acitretin, you must have 2 negative pregnancy tests. The first test is given when your doctor prescribes acitretin. The second test must be given during the first 5 days of your menstrual period just before you start taking acitretin. No testing is needed if you have had a hysterectomy or have gone completely through menopause.

You will need monthly pregnancy tests while you are taking acitretin. If you are not menstruating, your pregnancy test should be done at least 11 days after you last had sex without using 2 effective forms of birth control.

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Do not miss a scheduled pregnancy test or you may not be able to continue taking acitretin.

You will also need pregnancy tests every 3 months for at least 3 years after you stop taking this medication.

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Call your doctor right away if you think you might be pregnant, if you miss a period, or if you have had sex without using the 2 recommended forms of birth control within 3 years of taking acitretin.

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Acitretin can pass into breast milk and harm a nursing baby. Do not take acitretin if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take acitretin?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

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Take acitretin with food.

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Your psoriasis may seem to get worse at the start of therapy. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after one course of acitretin treatment.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested often. Your liver function and cholesterol may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.

Never share this medicine with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have.

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Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

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Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include headache, dizziness or spinning sensation, and nausea or vomiting.

What should I avoid while taking acitretin?

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Women taking acitretin must not drink alcohol during treatment and for at least 2 months after treatment ends. Alcohol can cause acitretin to convert to another substance in your body that can take 3 years or longer to clear from your body. Read the labels of all foods and medicines you consume to make sure they do not contain alcohol.

Multum donot

Do not donate blood while taking acitretin and for at least 3 years after you stop taking it. Donated blood may be given to a pregnant woman and could cause birth defects if the blood contains acitretin.

Avoid taking vitamin supplements that contain vitamin A. Acitretin is a form of vitamin A, and taking too much can cause side effects similar to overdose symptoms.

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Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Acitretin can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

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Acitretin may impair your vision, especially at night. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to see clearly.

What are the possible side effects of acitretin?

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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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Stop using acitretin and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • blurred vision, headache or pain behind your eyes, sometimes with nausea and vomiting;
  • sudden decrease in night vision;
  • depressed mood, aggression, unusual thoughts or behavior, thoughts of hurting yourself;
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • loss of feeling in your hands or feet, trouble moving, pain in your back, joints, muscles, or bones;
  • mouth sores, swollen or bleeding gums;
  • high blood sugar (increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss);
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, spreading to the arm or shoulder, sweating, shortness of breath;
  • sudden severe headache, confusion, problems with speech or balance, numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body);
  • sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, fast heart rate; or
  • pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • dry eyes, chapped or peeling skin, hair loss;
  • itching, scaling, or sticky feeling on your skin;
  • weak nails, fragile skin;
  • dry mouth, dry or runny nose, nosebleeds;
  • mild headache, muscle tightness;
  • nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea;
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);
  • sleep problems (insomnia); or
  • ringing in your ears.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect acitretin?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills (especially "minipills");
  • phenytoin (Dilantin); or
  • St. John's wort.

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with acitretin. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about acitretin.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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